George Washington Papers

Orders, 18 May 1756


Parole: Sussex.

Winchester: Tuesday, May 18th 1756.

A General court martial, to consist of four Captains and five Subalterns, to sit immediately for trial of Corporal Thomas1 for Desertion and embezzling some public money entrusted to his care—Also, Henry Campbell,2 of Captain George Mercers Company, for desertion—Captain Woodward, President.

Lieutenant Baker, Judge-Advocate. All Evidences to attend—The President to attend on Colonel Washington for his Orders.


1This was almost certainly a 31–year-old Scot named James Thomas who was recruited by George Weedon at Alexandria in September 1754. He was now a corporal in Thomas Cocke’s company of the Virginia Regiment and was later in Joshua Lewis’s company. For his death sentence and subsequent pardon, see Court-Martial and After Orders, both 18 May 1756, GW to Dinwiddie, 23 May 1756, Dinwiddie to GW, 27 May 1756, and GW’s Orders, 1 June 1756.

2Sgt. Henry Campbell was charged with and convicted of embezzlement and desertion in December 1755. See George Mercer to Henry Campbell, 11 Dec. 1755 and GW’s After Orders, 26 Dec. 1755. For his new trial for desertion, see Court-Martial, 18 May 1756. For the approval of the death sentence by GW and Dinwiddie, see their letters to one another cited in note 1. For his execution, see GW’s Orders, 25, 26 June 1756.

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